Friday, November 30, 2007

Lady of Leisure, Day Four

I slept until 11:00 today. Sleeping until 11:00 is far more enjoyable than being rudely awakened at 8:30 to be told your pee sample was "too diluted." (Knock on wood my second sample was sufficient -- I didn't get a call today, so I'm assuming it was "concentrated" enough. Ew.)

Because I didn't get a chance to go to the tailor yesterday on account of my weak-ass piss, I turned my bedroom upside down today in an attempt to find everything that needed tailoring. And when I say "upside down," I really mean it. When Mr. Monkey came home, he called me and asked, "What the Hell did you to our bedroom?!"

What I did was tear apart The Pile.

The Pile is the mountain of clothes on top of the armchair and ottoman in our bedroom. Much to Mr. Monkey's dismay, the armchair and ottoman have never actually been used for their real purpose because of The Pile.

The Pile consists mostly of clothes I toss when I try things on and decide not to wear them. The Pile is huge. The Pile has t-shirts and sweaters and jeans and skirts and jackets and pretty much any article of clothing you can think of, except lingerie. I don't throw my underwear around.

I'm a [lack-of-a-sorely-needed-walk-in-] closet slob. The weird thing, though, is that all the clothes in The Pile are actually clean. I guess that makes The Pile slightly less gross. Right? Right?

After disassembling most of The Pile (it started getting late, so I gave up going through all of it), I ended up with eight pairs of jeans that needed to be cut (original hem, of course). Then I went to my closet (not everything is in The Pile) to get the four suits that needed to be taken in. Taken in! Ohhhh yeah!

I headed to Murat's (9731 Little Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310.276.2672). I went there last year to get my bridesmaid gown altered a bit, and they did a great job very quickly. Curly Fries gets all her tailoring done at their Santa Monica location on Montana. Curly Fries has high standards, so you know Murat's is good.

I put on my first suit, stood on the pedestal in front of the mirror, and, before I could even tell my tailor what I needed, he said, "Wow! Somebody lost a lot of weight!" The cashier chimed in, "Yes! Those pants are so big! How much did you lose? 20? 25?"

I beamed and proudly told them 23 pounds. Yes, it's 23 now! I've lost another pound since becoming a lady of leisure. Crazy! Maybe arguing with stupid guards at Social Security burns lots of calories.

My tailor painstakingly pinned and pinned and pinned. It was, like, five pins for every pound I'd lost. After the suits, we moved onto the jeans.

While digging through The Pile earlier, I'd found two random pairs of AG jeans that I didn't even remember owning. I also unearthed six more pairs (575, Blue Cult, Chip & Pepper, Kasil, Lucky, and Taverniti So) that I do remember buying at The Warehouse Sale shortly before getting married. They were buried in The Pile for months. Out of sight, out of mind. Brand new pairs of jeans. When I remembered them again, I was too fat to fit into any of them.

But now I fit. And now I remember. And today I got eight pairs of jeans cut to my 5'3" frame. Whee! It's like buying new clothes without buying new clothes! I know you're jealous that I'm so profound.

After Murat's, I still had 30 minutes left on the meter, so I walked a few blocks to Crumbs. You'd think that someone who has lost 23 pounds would avoid cupcakes, but your thinking would be incorrect. Anyway, all good things in moderation -- the motto works, and I'm living proof. No need to deprive yourself of goodies. Just eat smaller portions of them!

On my way to Crumbs, I passed these chumps.

I got the following at Crumbs:

  • blackout (chocolate cake filled with a creamy mixture of chocolate buttercream and ganache, frosted with a layer of chocolate buttercream, topped with chocolate crumbs and drizzled with chocolate),
  • fluffernutter (vanilla cake filled with marshmallow buttercream, frosted with vanilla buttercream mixed with real peanut butter and rollled in white sprinkles),
  • hostess (chocolate cake filled with vanilla buttercream and frosted with chocolate ganache), and
  • cookie dough (vanilla cake with a small squirt of chocolate inside, frosted with vanilla buttercream with cookie bits, and topped with a small chocolate chip cookie).

After Crumbs, I drove to Westfield Century City to pick up dinner. Sounds weird, I know, but there is a logical explanation, I promise.

Since having our rehearsal dinner at The Tam O'Shanter Inn last year, we've gotten all these cool Lawry's gift certificates for our birthdays and holidays and other random times (you earn points for the money you spend at any Lawry's establishment, and the Lawry's company sends you these benefits). We had to spend Mr. Monkey's $25 birthday gift certificate by today, so I picked up two platters at Lawry's Carvery at the mall.

It's pretty much the best damn food court meal you could ever get. We shared the prime rib with au jus and horseradish and the brisket with barbecue sauce and crispy onions, each of which came with sides of both creamed corn and macaroni and cheese. I paid $3.23, which made the meal even more delicious.

After dinner, I opened a mysterious package. It was from my Nestie Secret Santa. What a great Nestie bestie! Here I am, modeling my nifty gifty! And there I am swiping my iPhone from Mr. Monkey!

Thank you, Nestie Secret Santa! I love my t-shirt! It is SO much better than an ornament! Like a million times better! Yay for exclamation marks!

My cool present put me in such a good mood that I decided to attempt to organize The Pile some more. Lo and behold, I found two more pairs of jeans. I slipped on the Paige Premium Denim (the Hidden Hills cut, if you're curious). They fit! I tried the Juicy Couture jeans. I was swimming. Drowning, really. I actually disposed of four other pairs of jeans earlier because they were huge, but I can't bear to throw away these brand new Juicy jeans!

Anyone want some jeans? They are the Cali cut (low rise bootcut with a flattering somewhat trouser-ish wide leg), dark indigo, 32 waist, and still have the tags! They are six or seven inches too long for me, which means they would fit anyone up to about 5'10" or so. They've never been worn, except for when I tried them on in the store and when I tried them on today!

Retail value is $168.00. I bought them for $109.00. You can have them for $50.00 or some other reasonable price.

My weight loss is your gain!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Lady of Leisure, Days Two (For Real) and Three

As some of you may have gleaned from the nonsense I posted yesterday, Day Two as a Lady of Leisure was not that enjoyable, at least not until nighttime. I'll do another little schedule for you.

08:30 Wake up.

09:30 Drive to new workplace.
09:47 Arrive at new workplace. Fill out paperwork.

10:30 Continue to fill out damn paperwork.

11:00 The amount of paperwork is insane.
11:30 What is this place? The CIA? Ah, yes. Maybe my new job is with the CIA.
11:45 Realize I don't know where the hell my social security card is. Fuck.

12:00 Leave workplace to go home to charge dead phone. Stupid me.
12:19 Eat Taiwanese meatball for lunch. Mmm.
12:45 Phone is slightly charged. Rush back out.

13:07 Arrive at health clinic. Ask if I may further charge my phone. I may. Yay.
13:25 Name is called.
13:36 Wash hands. Technician who looks like Santa Claus hands me a cup.
13:37 Pee in cup. Marvel at my great aim. Set cup on floor. Pee more in toilet.
13:39 Hand cup to Santa Claus, who remarks that I have lots of pee. Wash up.
13:43 Drive to nearest Social Security Office.
13:53 Arrive at remarkably close Social Security Office.
13:55 Get number. Sit down.

14:01 Notice nearby outlet in wall. Plug phone in to charge some more.
14:09 Security guard says, "Stop that. Will you reimburse the government?"
14:10 "With all due respect, sir, we all pay taxes for this office's services."
14:11 Guard stares and scowls for what seems an eternity. "Unplug it, ma'am."
14:12 Monkey is pissed more about the "ma'am" than about having to unplug.
14:30 Woman starts bitching only "people from Asia" are helped in the office.
14:31 Give woman a dirty look.
14:32 Contemplate ways to smack woman in head non-chalantly.
14:40 So fucking bored. Browse Internet and e-mails on iPhone.
14:55 Security guard bellows, "Turn it off. Can't you read?"
14:56 Glance at sign that says, "Turn off cell phones." Protest, "But it's silent."
14:57 "Turn it off."
14:58 "Isn't the point of the rule not to bother others? I'm being quiet."
14:59 "Turn it off."

15:00 Seethe with hatred of the guard. I want to kick him in the penis.
15:01 Number is called. Finally.
15:02 Replacement card is ordered. Receipt is printed. Drive back to workplace.
15:12 Give workplace receipt.
15:13 Workplace says it needs receipt with my SSN on it. Look at receipt. ARGH.
15:15 Drive back to Hell.
15:25 Arrive at Hell. Security guard stares at me. I hate him. Feeling is mutual.
15:26 Get number. Sit down. Again.
15:46 Nice lady who helped me before notices me and calls me up.
15:47 Go to window, while being glared at by everybody else still waiting.
15:48 Nice lady fixes the receipt and faxes it directly to workplace.
15:49 Give security guard the finger. Ok, that was just in my head.
15:50 Sit in car and wonder whether I should go home or start driving to dinner.

16:15 Stuck in traffic on a small random freeway with heavy construction.
16:25 Pass exit for home. Decide to journey on to dinner at the country club.

17:25 Exit the freeway to the country club.
17:26 Keep driving aimlessly down the street to pass time.
17:36 Still driving aimlessly.
17:46 Realize I am driving aimlessly. Turn around to go to the country club.
17:56 Run into Target to pick up some conditioner.

18:05 Arrive at the country club, and hope that R is not already there.
18:18 R arrives. It's hard to find the club in the dark.

22:00 We finally leave the club. Yes, we talked for nearly four hours! So fun!
22:45 Arrive home. Take a shower. Lounge about in PJs.

04:00 Go to sleep. I am a bumbling idiotic insomniac.

Thank you, R, for making the end of my not-so-great day just the opposite!

Today has been far more pleasant, at least so far. It started off much earlier than I'd planned.

At 8:30 a.m., my new workplace called me. WTF?! Isn't there some rule that you don't call people before 9:00 a.m.? More specifically, there is a rule that you don't call the Monkey before 11:00 a.m. on her days of leisure.

The woman told me I had to do my drug testing again. Apparently, yesterday's sample was "too diluted."

I asked, "What does that mean?"
She replied, "I don't know."
I said, "Well, that's not very helpful. I guess I have to dehydrate myself today."

Then she said something else. I mumbled something, and then I hung up. After all, I went to sleep at 4 a.m.

I woke up again around 11ish, checked my e-mail, and solidified lunch plans with some old co-workers who'd missed my last day. Bootcamper had to file a motion for summary judgment on Monday. Talksa was out of the office for a remote court appearance or depo. Cheeks was in Mexico. BPLJ and Pescado joined us, too.

I had a crepe, of course. It's Thursday! But the culinary highlight of lunch was trying more flavors of moonpillows. They have a website now, too. Hooray! It's still in the nascent stages, but at least it's up and running. I am excited for them to grow. Tiffany (the mastermind behind moonpillows) is so cool. She even remembered my name from the last time I bought mochi truffles!

Today, I got a French Roast, Strawberry-White Balsamic, and Chocolate-Hazelnut. You can read their descriptions below.

I wanted a picture with Bootcamper and Talksa, so I asked BPLJ to take this. Yeah, they're in work clothes, and I'm wearing a vintage Transformers t-shirt.

BPLJ said I should take a pic of the guys, too. This is their attempt to recreate our photo.

Then I was off to go piss in a cup again. Whee! Here's where I met Santa Claus for our second pee pee date. Sexy.

Everybody cross your fingers that I'm not "too diluted" again. What can I say? I like being hydrated.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Lady of Leisure, Day Two (Not Really)

I'm so tired. So not a leisurely day today, but at least the end was good.

In an attempt to be a more positive person, I suppose another plus was that I was on the move much of the day, so my butt wasn't glued to the left cushion of my living room couch like it was yesterday.

Maybe I'll even hop on the elliptical soon. Tonight, despite being worn, I can't sleep and have this weird restless energy. I know. It doesn't make sense.

It makes even less sense that I've been doing my old tae kwon do moves while watching recorded ANTM, Gossip Girl, Project Runway, and Kid Nation. It's 2:48 a.m., and, for some strange reason, I'm reliving my pathetic yellow belt days.

Hey, cut me some slack re the lame-o yellow belt. My mom sent me to tae kwon do because I was fat, not because she was concerned with my abilities to defend myself. I was the ugly, slow, roly-poly girl with whom no one ever wanted to spar. And there were such cute boys in my class, too. They were not very nice to me. Understatement of all time. Oof. It still makes me sad to think about it today.

Hmm. To watch or not to watch Pushing Daisies, Dirty Sexy Money, and Kitchen Nightmares? That is the question.

Mr. Monkey asked me around midnight, "So what time are you going to bed? 4? 5?" He knows me and my crazy ways so well. God bless him. This, coming from a Buddhist. Ok, who am I kidding? I'm not even a real practicing Buddhist, except for when I light the incense sticks and bow a few times when we visit the grave of Mr. Monkey's mom. Sham. I am a fraud. Faux Buddhist. It's sadder than faux fur. Well, actually it's not. Real fur is sadder than both.

I hate Faulkner. I hate ridiculous stream-of-consciousness. I hate this. But I sort of love my own version. Paradox.

I started this a little before midnight and just left the window open.


What a day. I can't even organize my thoughts about the madness of today's events. All I can do is talk about the humiliation of fat-childhood-martial-arts trauma.

Perhaps I'll attempt to recap tomorrow. There were definitely some gems today. I peed in a cup, which Santa Claus sealed. I verbally bitch-slapped a rent-a-cop. I drove aimlessly down a major busy street for nearly 30 minutes before realizing I was totally day-dreaming and not paying attention to what the fuck I was doing.

And then I had a four-hour dinner with a good friend. It's amazing how time flies when you're with a dear pal.

It kind of reminded me of what I sometimes did in college. I'd bring a bunch of books to "study" in the dining hall in the morning and then just sit there until dark. Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner. I'd sit through the meals of about nine or ten different groups of friends. Good times. Bad grades.

I think I'll watch Kitchen Nightmares now.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Lady of Leisure, Day One

Today I got the sweetest e-mails from several of my former (former!) co-workers.

T-West sent me the coolest Top 10 list of why she loves the Monkey. (I actually got a little teary-eyed reading it.) Both Perfecta and Talksa sent me several e-mails with sad emoticons. And Pescado lamented the fact that he had to go buy cigars by his lonesome.

Ironman asked, "So what did you do today? Whatever it was, I'm jealous."

Well, it turns out, when you get up around midday, you don't really get much done. Here was my mundane (but relaxing) day:

11:30 a.m. Wake up. Ha!
1:00 p.m. Meet Jen for lunch at Yorkshire Grill. Clearly the highlight of my day.

Yummy! This is a great downtown destination for office folk when you don't have the time to make the short drive or train ride to Langer's.

Jen ordered the Yorkshire Special (turkey, pastrami, swiss cheese, cole slaw, dressing), while I had the New York Special (same sans turkey -- it's pretty much #19 at Langer's).

As we always do, Jen and I swapped our latest firm life stories, good and bad. I love my lunches with Jen because it's so wonderful to talk to someone who gets it. As well-meaning as some people may be, it's difficult for them to understand just what firm life entails. It's great when you have a friend like Jen who knows exactly how you're feeling, yet is removed enough from your particular situation to have a fresh take on things.

I enjoyed my sandwich, although my heart belongs to Langer's. Nevertheless, I would still go back to Yorkshire Grill for the sake of convenience. Sandwiches range from $7 to $9, and service is fast and friendly.

Now back to my "schedule."

2:30 p.m. Deposit check at bank.
2:40 p.m. Pay mortgage in person at another bank.
2:55 p.m. Pick up Mr. Monkey's dry cleaning.

3:05 p.m. Pick up mail downstairs.
3:07 p.m. Sit on couch, watch recorded TV, play on Internet.
3:30 p.m. Send e-mails to old work friends.
3:34 p.m. Repeat activities from 3:07 p.m. Add glass of iced coffee.

Since then, I've been sitting in pretty much the same position. My ass is going to be huge at the end of these two weeks.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Exit, Stage Left

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, good-bye! Monkey's last day at the firm!

If you can believe it, I had yet another lunch in my honor today, this time with my Best Boys. These are the guys who have known me the longest. These are the guys who were my pals since nearly day one. These are the guys who said today, "Who's going to be the only girl now?" My Best Boys rule. Special props to Pescado for organizing and B-Dawg for coming back downtown for my last day.

Here we are at Morton's. Two pics. I don't know what B-Dawg and Pescado are doing in the first one. I'm not sure I want to.

And now it's time to get all nostalgic and sentimental. A rundown of how much I adore my main peeps, in approximate order of newest friends to oldest friends:

You are so dedicated to the practice of law, and your industriousness and enthusiasm for our profession never cease to amaze me. Thanks for being my late-night buddy. Thanks for the hundreds of rides home. Thanks for always being on my side. No one is more loyal than you.

You are one of the most caring people I've ever known, and there is certainly no one kinder (or more stylish) than you at the firm. I'm so happy we managed to stay close even after you left the clutches of litigation. Thanks for listening and all the hugs. You are an incredible person.

You are my ball of fun and ray of sunshine! Even with all the ups and downs (well, really, only one down), you are one of my best friends. Your warmth and good cheer made work so much more bearable. Thanks for putting up with my occasional Debbie Downer tendencies and seeing the positive in everything. I will miss being just two doors away.

Cheeks and Bootcamper

Oh, how I wish you'd been on our floor! We did, however, make the most of our inter-floor friendships! I wish you guys the best of luck with firm politics and wedding planning, respectively. Thanks for laughing at my jokes and being game for Field Trip Fridays. Thanks for making firm happy hours worth attending.

Who can argue before the California Supreme Court and do triathlons? You can! You are so rad. I have great hopes for you and the other Young Guns; the firm is in dire need of non-sexagenarian talent. Thanks for your patience, advice, friendship, and shared fascination with all things electronic.

Lasagna Man

For all of our constant joking with you, you know we love you to pieces. You are the best sport, and you have such a big heart. I know you are going to do really well at the firm. Thanks for quasi-colluding with me for three years, my fellow Class of '01 pal.

Captain Amazing

Recipe for a Good Party =
Alcohol + Captain Amazing

You rock a faux-hawk like no other. People sometimes fail to realize you're a great attorney, and you're very thoughtful and even sweet. Thanks for entertaining me and mocking me only occasionally.

Pescado and B-Dawg

What can I say about the two of you? I must discuss you together, even if B-Dawg is a fellow deserter, because you guys are like Tom Cruise and Renee Zellweger in Jerry Maguire. You complete each other! Thanks for inviting me on cigar runs. Thanks for introducing me to cool indie bands (but no thanks for the Fiery Furnaces -- Captain Amazing is totally right re Blueberry Boat). Thanks for fake firmwide farewells and blue highlighter shenanigans. Thanks for voicemails from your kids that are so cute that even this baby hater's heart melts. Thanks for getting me through countless rough patches at work. Thanks for making me laugh. Thanks for letting me in and making your duo into a trio as much as you could.

Curly Fries
You are my oldest, dearest friend from this firm. We've reviewed hundreds of thousands of documents together. We co-founded the Cry Baby Club. We survived working with Shittler. We put together many meals together (or, rather, I tried to put meals together, but was too slow, so you put my meals together for me). We have eaten more crepes than probably the entire firm. We have corrected the grammar of others ruthlessly. We are as different as two girls can be, but somehow we work. You are my confidante who never judges, and I love you for that.

My dear BPLJ, I can't believe this is the end. You have known me longer than Mr. Monkey has -- over seven years. I've never practiced law without you. You are my constant source of hilarity. You are my reliable one-man support system. We braved the Green Empire together and managed to escape The Evil Triumvirate. We started anew at this firm on the same day. Who will ask me, "Got any big plans for the weekend?" Who will sing the "Young Associate Monkey" theme song? Who will make me a new tip cup? Who will tell me tales of Ouchy the Clown? Who will talk to me in the Buffalo Bill voice? Alas, the Dynamic Duo is being torn asunder. I will miss you terribly. Please start researching ways to clone yourself.

In true yearbook fashion, I say, "Have bitchin' summer! KIT!"


Sunday, November 25, 2007

More Country Club Food Porn

In natural light, no less!

Julie Q hit the nail on the head with her comment on my last post. It's totally that time of the month. (No, not that time -- gross!) We have to use up our food minimum!

Thus, Mr. Monkey's family joined us for brunch today at the beautiful greens.

Mr. Monkey and I usually eat in the bar area, so we can watch sports, but, when Little Monkey Niece comes, we go to whatever space has the least people around, which was the formal dining room today. (Gotta seclude the shrieking.) Here's the sparsely populated room.

Time to order.

A seriously eclectic assortment: silver dollar pancakes, LMN and shrimp cocktail, hot wings, my "hole-in-one" egg white omelet with hash browns and multigrain toast, half a Reuben sandwich and turkey noodle soup, and cheese tortellini.

There's nothing better than midday dessert: lemon meringue pie, apple pie a la mode (again!), and crème brulée.

There's still some money left after all of this. Anybody want to meet me for dinner this week? My treat! The Monkey won't be working! Whee!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Post-Thanksgiving Feasting

One perk of being a member of a country club is that you always have a familiar fine dining option when you're too lazy to make reservations at some fancy new place. I love eating at our club. It's like Cheers; everybody knows your name.

We are two of the youngest members at our club, and we're not white, so we sort of stick out, but I think our servers kind of like us more because of this (they are generally young and not white, too). Or maybe it's because we tip them beyond the built-in service charge. Whatever it is, I always feel like a queen when we go to the club. The service is just outstanding.

I have yet to eat anything bad at the club. We are so lucky to have such a great head chef. When we went last night, the place was deserted. I guess everyone was at home eating Thanksgiving leftovers. Not us! Mama Monkey gave all the goods to Brother Monkey the Striking TV Writer, so we went home empty-handed.

We started with two appetizers: (1) sweet potato and grilled chicken potstickers with coconut ginger dipping sauce and (2) pesto chicken pizza with roma tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. Both were so delicious. The potstickers had an atypical creaminess about them. I loved the juxtaposition of East meets West. The pizza was crisp and beautifully cheesy, and I could taste the freshness of the tomatoes as they burst in my mouth with every bite.

Even soup and salad at the club is delectable. Mr. Monkey had the house clam chowder, which is steeped with plenty of real clams and is a beautiful rich warm color, not pale white and full of potatoes. I dined on baby greens with apples, candied walnuts, and balsamic vinaigrette. So good. The only thing that would've made my salad even better would be a little crumbled cheese. Mmm.

After having gorged on land animals the day before, the Monkeys opted for fish. I had the sauteed pompano with parsley, lemon, and garlic sauce. Mr. Monkey ate the petrale sole dusted with seasoned flour and sauteed and finished with piccata sauce. Excellent. The club does both seafood and meat (especially steak and prime rib) really well. We are so spoiled.

We capped the night off with hot apple pie a la mode, which I paired with a cup of decaf.

But wait! There's more! We love the food at our club so much that we never leave without extra food to go, so we got some broiled eggplant parmesan and teriyaki top sirloin packed up.

And now we are eating them tonight. Lucky bastards are we.
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